Mike Nifong, the fallen district attorney who lost his job and his career over his zealous prosecution of the Duke lacrosse case, filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday in federal court, a move described by one legal expert as "throwing in the towel."
In the filing, Nifong listed assets of $243,898 and debt of $180.3 million — including $30 million to each of the six lacrosse players who have sued him.
The document was filed on the deadline day for Nifong and other defendants to respond to allegations in a civil suit filed by the three exonerated lacrosse players that Nifong pursued criminally for most of 2006 — Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann.
"He’s basically throwing in the towel" on the lawsuits, said Jeb Jeutter, a Raleigh lawyer whose area of expertise is debtors’ and creditors’ rights. "He has said either I don’t want to or I don’t have the resources to defend this lawsuit so I will file bankruptcy and I can walk away with the exempt assets I have." ….